Online, Social Media Marketing Help Drive Tourism

Dec. 4, 2013

Social media and online marketing is helping drive interest and bring visitor's to the Charlottesville Albemarle area.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau presented its annual report to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday morning. The report showed over the last five years, tourism in the Charlottesville Albemarle area has increased year to year. One big proponent is the online and social media marketing.

The "Experience Charlottesville" Facebook page has near 78,000 likes. It was was the number one Facebook page for a city anywhere in the world last October, and 11th most popular of all Facebook pages during that time.

Another accomplishment was money earned from return media which generated $9 million. Travel writers and photographers publish work about the area, generating interest online.

"They will copy, paste and send that link saying 'you've got to check this out.' Check out what's happening at Carter Orchard, or the Harvest Festival at Monticello, or something people need to see. That lives. That has an immortal life online," said Kurt Burkhart, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau's executive director.

During the presentation Burkhart also noted the government shutdown, as well as a long rainy period, impacted tourism to the area in October, which is typically one of the busiest months. However, Burkhart said there was still a high numbers of visitors to the area.

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